Story: Self-government and independence

1926 Balfour Declaration

At the 1926 Imperial Conference the former British Prime Minister Arthur Balfour composed what became known as the Balfour Declaration. It defined the relationship between Britain and the dominions as equal and autonomous communities. This formula paved the way for constitutional independence as embodied in the 1931 Statute of Westminster, which stated that no act of the British Parliament would henceforth extend to a dominion without its specific request and consent.  Here leaders and officials pose at the 1926 Conference. New Zealand's Prime Minister Gordon Coaates is seated in the front, fourth from left.  

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Alexander Turnbull Library
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How to cite this page:

W. David McIntyre, 'Self-government and independence - Statute of Westminster', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 24 October 2021)

Story by W. David McIntyre, published 20 Jun 2012